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Volume 45 is a collection of French bands. It has been quite a mission searching for music of this country that fits in to the feel of my comps, but the end results are very satisfying and here we have another inspirational and varied selection. For such a large and prominent European country, the 70's yielded very little heavy psych and hard rock/proto metal albums. Similarly to Italy and Spain, the nation's native rock tastes at the time veered very strongly towards pastoral/symphonic prog and other more 'intellectual' styles. As a result, the large majority of the tracks featured here are from very short-lived bands and obscure singles, often hidden away on B-sides.
Most countries boast at least a few successful cornerstone hard-rock bands and it would appear that 'Les Variations' was France's chief flag bearer in this respect. Their 1969 debut 'Nador' is a very accomplished and solid effort in the vein of Led Zep et al and this is shown by the fact that tracks from it have appeared on this blog before, on mine and other's comps. The avant-garde 'Zeuhl' underground (what could be considered as France's equivalent of 'Krautrock') did however nurture some great heavy psych and one such band that features here is Art Zoyd. Similarly to Amon Duul, they are a continuing art collective with a revolving-door lineup and have traversed many styles to create countless works including movie and ballet accompaniments. Schizo are another example of french artists who began recording heavy psych before changing dramatically. One member, Richard Pinhas, went on to band and solo work which concentrated on prog electronica akin to Brian Eno and Jean Michel Jarre.
Carrying on through the comp we encounter blues rock (Alan Jack Civilization), Sabbathian doom (Chico Magnetic Band), hardened glam (Dynastie Crisis) and the heavy-riffing commercial rock of Blues Convention, Cameleon, Alice and La Folle Entreprise. One final mention must go to the half-time breather track from 'Saint-Preux', a solo artist who generally made classical compositions but on one album in particular "Le piano sous la mer" introduced some electric psych guitar to great effect on a few tracks, for interesting results.
01. Docdail - Aere Perennius (1969)
02. Art Zoyd - Something In Love / Sangria (1971)
03. Schizo - Schizo [and the little girl] (1972)
04. Alan Jack Civilization - Shame On You (1969)
05. Amphyrite - Symphonie pour 3 Oeufs Brouilles (1973)
06. Blues Convention - Fais ceci, Fais cela (1973)
07. François Wertheimer - L'automne (1971)
08. Saint-Preux - Le Gouffre Amer (1972)
09. Alice - Il Viendra (1970)
10. Chico Magnetic Band - Phantasm (1972)
11. Cameleon - Le Chemin de la Descente (1971)
12. After Life - Exit (1975)
13. Dynastie Crisis - Schizomania (1973)
14. La Folle Entreprise - Soleil (1973)
15. Tac Poum Systeme - Asmodai (1971)
16. Les Variations - Come Along (1970)
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